May 31, 2015 / 5:56 PM / 4 years ago

Pelicans hire Gentry as head coach

(Reuters) - The New Orleans Pelicans have named Alvin Gentry as their new head coach, but will have to wait until the Golden State associate coach is through with the Warriors’ NBA Finals series against Cleveland.

Gentry, 60, replaces Monty Williams, who was fired on May 12 after the Warriors swept the Pelicans from the playoffs in the first round 4-0.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“I’m truly honored for the opportunity to lead the Pelicans as their head coach and am anxious to get started,” Gentry said in a statement.

“However, my responsibilities with the Pelicans will begin immediately after the NBA Finals are completed. Until then, my complete focus for the next two-plus weeks will be with the Warriors and the NBA Finals.”

It will be Gentry’s fifth stint as an NBA head coach.

“After assessing our team, along with the core values of the Pelicans, we created a list of characteristics and qualities we wanted,” general manager Dell Demps said.

“We conducted an extensive coaching search that identified Alvin Gentry as the right person to lead our team.”

After a decade as a college assistant that included the 1988 NCAA national championship with Kansas under Larry Brown, Gentry has spent last 26 years coaching in the NBA, beginning in 1989 with the San Antonio Spurs. As a head coach, he steered the Miami Heat (1994-95), Detroit Pistons (1997-00), Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03) and Phoenix Suns (2008-13), compiling a 12-9 playoff record.

In his best season as head coach, Gentry guided the Suns to the 2009-10 Western Conference Finals.

Last season, Williams directed the team to a 45-37 record before the team was ousted in the opening round. In five seasons, he compiled an overall record of 173-221.

The NBA Finals open on Thursday at Golden State.

Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine

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